'We will just get worse': Jim Mallinder vows to take action after Scotland Under-20s' flop

Scottish Rugby performance director Jim Mallinder.Scottish Rugby performance director Jim Mallinder.
Scottish Rugby performance director Jim Mallinder.
Scottish Rugby’s performance director Jim Mallinder says “we can’t keep doing the same things or we will just get worse” and has vowed to put new structures in place for young rugby players in this country after the under-20s World Rugby Trophy disaster.

The Scots headed into the second-tier, eight team tournament in Kenya as favourites, but will head home early next week with their tails between their legs. That is because they lost the Pool A decider to Uruguay 37-26 in the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Tuesday, meaning that the South Americans will play in the final versus Spain on Sunday to see who goes into the top-tier, 12 team Championship for 2024. Scotland will not be back at that level until 2025 at the very least and the stunning loss to Uruguay shows just how far Scottish Rugby’s youth development programme is off the pace.

“What we don’t do here is point fingers, we look at what’s happening and we understand that this has been a problem - at our under-20s, under-18s and in our pathway - for a number of years,” Mallinder said. “There is certainly no easy overnight fix, but we’ve already set some plans in place to hopefully improve this situation so we can provide more players to the professional teams and the national team. We’re going to have to work at this plan and really start improving - we can’t keep doing the same things or we will just get worse.”

Scotland have the third-place play-off versus Samoa to come on Sunday.